Raccoons in Pittsburgh, Mt. Lebanon test positive for rabies
Two raccoons in Pittsburgh and Mt. Lebanon have tested positive for rabies, Allegheny County Health Department officials said Tuesday.
The first raccoon was found near Duffield Street on the border between Pittsburgh’s Morningside and Stanton Heights neighborhoods, department director Dr. Karen Hacker said in a release.
The second raccoon was found on Racine Avenue in Mt. Lebanon, officials said.
The raccoons bring the year’s rabid animal total to 19 across the county, Hacker said. In all, officials have detected rabies in eight raccoons, seven bats, two cats, a groundhog and a fox.
A feral cat found in North Versailles last month tested positive for the disease, less than two weeks after a rabid fox was found in the area.
A groundhog killed by a dog in Mt. Lebanon earlier this summer also tested positive for the virus, which is generally transmitted through a bite or scratch. Untreated, the virus is often fatal.
In August, the county health department distributed rabies vaccine baits for raccoons across the county, focusing on wooded areas and parks. Made of fishmeal and fish oil, the bait attracts raccoons and has a packet of rabies vaccine in the middle.
The health department urged people to stay away from stray and wild animals, even if they appear healthy. Animals acting strange or appearing sick should be reported to animal control, the state game commission or the police.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.